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Veteran financier George Rossolatos will be the first CEO of the Canadian Business Growth Fund.

Top corporate lawyer Dale Ponder is joining a proven private-equity investor to launch the $500-million Canadian Business Growth Fund.

The private-equity fund, launched in March and backed by the country's largest banks and insurers, announced on Thursday that Ms. Ponder will be the founding chair of its board, and that, as reported in The Globe and Mail, veteran financier George Rossolatos will be the first chief executive officer.

Ms. Ponder is a veteran deal maker, with expertise in M&A and corporate finance, and is national managing partner and co-chair of law firm Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Mr. Rossolatos has two decades of private equity experience and is currently CEO of security company Avante Logixx Inc. and private equity fund Riverdale Capital Corp., roles that he will wind up in coming months. He is expected to start his new job at the business fund in January and the fund is expected to begin committing capital early in 2018.

"I'm honoured to help some of Canada's best and brightest entrepreneurs build their companies into tomorrow's industry leaders," Mr. Rossolatos said in a news release. "Canada's small- and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy as well as significant job creators.

The new fund is meant to be a made-in-Canada solution to the challenges facing small to-medium-sized businesses as they attempt to raise capital. The Toronto-based fund is expected to make $3-million to $20-million equity investments in companies, with a relatively long time commitment of up to 10 years.

Backers initially committed $500-million, and Mr. Rossolatos said the fund can potentially expand to $1-billion if performance is strong and there is demand for capital.

The fund is backed by 13 financial institutions, including nine domestic and foreign banks, Alberta's ATB Financial and three insurers. The initiative is patterned on a British venture capital fund launched in 2011 with £2.5-billion ($4.1-billion) in capital from five of Britain's largest banks.

The former chairman and CEO of Equifax says the challenge of responding to the concerns of tens of millions of consumers in the wake of a massive data breach proved overwhelming, and regrettably, his company made mistakes.

The Associated Press

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